Typical CMOS image sensors available today for cameras are flat and produce flat and somewhat distorted images. Human eye has a curvature which Sony is trying to replicate. Sony’s Device Manager Yarn Soichiro said, “The first idea was to mimic the eyes of the organism”. Sony has been successful in making a curved CMOS sensor that gets rid of vignetting and aberrations and gives a much superior image quality.
Displayed above is the historical first photograph taken with Sony’s curved sensor.
The curved CMOS sensor mimics the structure and working of a human eye (biomimicry) resulting in more sensitivity and less distortion of the image. The lens system here is also much simpler and according to Sony’s engineers it is 1.4 times more sensitive at the center and twice as more sensitive at the periphery.
Sony used a special machine to bend the CMOS sensor and give it the necessary curvature as in the human eye. Then the curved sensor was reinforced with ceramic to stabilize its shape.
Sony has developed two sizes of the curved CMOS sensor – one is a full size chip measuring 43 mm diagonally for the bigger digital cameras and the other is a smaller one measuring 11 mm diagonally for smaller mobile phones. According to the source, Sony is ready for mass production of the curved sensors.